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Seoul Free Transit Tour

Have a long layover at Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)? Lucky you! It’s one of the best airports in the world. There’s free massage chairs, places to sleep, numerous quality restaurants, cultural performances and activities, and much more.

But the highlight of our recent 15 hour layover in Incheon was the Free Transit Tour offered by the airport. If you take the five hour City Tour 1 or 3 it costs about US$10 each, which includes an amazing lunch, entrance fees, and transport into Seoul and back (about 1 hour) on a nice bus. The other tours are completely free!

Itinerary as of March 2016

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Korea Free Transit Tour

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Hey everyone, I’m sitting in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) recovering a bit from our travels to get here. We left Iowa City Thursday morning and headed toward Moline. I got my first twinge of anxiety when we got on the road toward the airport. No heading back now! Katie dropped us off and took the customary pre-departure photo of Rose and I. Once inside the airport we attempted to get our boarding passes but the somewhat incompetent worker couldn’t figure out how to get us all of our boarding passes. She told us we’d had to pick up our next boarding pass in Chicago. After looking at our itinerary we realized we had no time to do this in Chicago because we had a very narrow window to catch our next flight. So we stood in line again and made her figure out her mistakes (which she finally did). Boarding passes in hand we headed to our gate and noticed that our flight to Chicago was delayed by 25 minutes. This did not bode well for our incredibly tight window of time.

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Asean_Pass_Problems

Part 1: About the pass

(skip to Part 2 part if you have the pass and are having problems)

For our upcoming trip to SE Asia in May, Rose and I decided to go for AirAsia’s new ASEAN pass. This pass allows travel between all the ASEAN member nations (Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Philippines). There are two types of passes. The first costs US$160 for 10 credits redeemable in a 30 day window. The second, costing US$290 allows for 20 credits used over a 60 day period. Flights cost either 1 or 3 credits. Generally, flights of 2 hours or less are 1 credit each way. Other flights that are longer distances cost 3 credits (e.g. Kuala Lumpur to Yangon). Here is a link to a chart with cost in credits for all available flights with the ASEAN pass. NOTE: As of this post not all flights are available with the ASEAN pass! I will discuss this in detail in Part 2.

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googleearthblogpic2

 

Google Earth is a geographic visualization program that uses real satellite and aerial imagery, as well as 3D models to create the ultimate interactive digital globe.

I’ve used Google Earth a lot to create cool visualizations related to my research as a geographer, but honestly the best use I’ve found for Google Earth is related to travel. I’ll be going over some of the basics of Google Earth in this post and showing how it can really inspire you to travel, help plan your trip, and even allow you to document and share your journey. If you don’t have it already, Google Earth is free and can be downloaded here.

Let’s get started!

(Philosophical preamble to commence) 

When you open up Google Earth, you’ll see our beautiful planet, ready to be explored. Take a brief moment to contemplate how the earth is a single connected unit against the cold vastness of space. Although the differences between cultures and creeds on this small planet may seem vast, all humans share the same desires such as happiness and love. Travel allows us to discover the importance of diversity while also feeling connected by our commonalities.

Phew, now that we have that out of the way, let’s check out the Google Earth Interface!

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